Those of you who are following my blog (and let’s face it, there aren’t that many of you) may have noticed that the posts have dropped off a bit lately. Fact is, life has been very much on the hectic side. I’ve been planning my wedding for a few months from now…and wedding planning, it has turned out, is craziness. Part of me is excited, part of me will be relieved when it’s all over and done with.

But enough about romance…I’m going to use my entry into marriage as an excuse to talk about politics…because of course I am. Thinking about the married state, husbands and wives, has reminded me of one wife in particular. Specifically–oh, how much I miss having Michelle Obama as a First Lady.

Michelle and Barack are such a great model of what a marriage is supposed to look like. I loved her feistiness. I loved that when she and Barack started dating, she wasn’t that interested in being with him at first. He had to prove to her that he was worth her while. She was a strong and successful woman in her own right. I loved the way they would tease and poke fun at each other in conversations.

And now that he’s no longer President, Michelle has gleefully admitted that he got the “worst room” in their new house.

What a contrast with what we’ve got now. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think Melania Trump is a mindless bimbo. That’s what makes this situation even sadder. She is also a strong and intelligent woman. But she is not able to or chooses not to show it. Her role in the relationship with Donald is not that of an equal partner. She is a woman who was purchased by a rich husband, and so she is expected to be a beautiful, silent backdrop to what he does. Some of Trump’s fans call it being “classy” and “gracious.” That Michelle was so loud and so opinionated (and so black!) I’ve always found the concept of a graceful woman a bit suspicious. Too often, women are called graceful when they’re quiet, when they behave. When they don’t raise too much of a stink about things they disagree with.

Now, I have seen the photos and videos of Melania refusing to touch Donald or swatting his hand away from hers. They are certainly amusing. But it’s all so…passive aggressive. Again, it’s a woman who can’t allow herself to express her feelings in the open. It’s hard for me to imagine Michelle putting up with Barack cheating on her as brazenly as Donald did with Stormy. The man would be out on his ass, most likely.

Perhaps the best we can hope for is that after Donnie is out of office, Melania will sue for divorce and take him for all the billions he doesn’t really have. The best I can hope for is that my own marriage will not be full of dishonesty and manipulative little games.

It has to be a true partnership, and you have to really really like and respect the person you’re married to because it is a hard road. I mean, that’s what I tell young couples. Don’t expect it to be easy, melding two lives and trying to raise others, and doing it forever. I mean that’s a recipe made for disaster, so there are highs and lows. But if in the end you can look him in the eye and say, “I like you.” I stopped believing in love at first sight. I think you go through that wonderful love stage, but when it gets hard, you need a little bit more. — Michelle Obama

 

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I should give fair warning that I wrote this at the confluence of a full moon and my PMS.  But hey, if I can’t vent about this on my blog, where else, right?

This post is simply here to say that after all this time, after having been raised with feminist ideals of equality, I have learned that the people who say that men and women are different from each other are right.  I know that there is indeed a feminine part of me which is naturally wired to be gentle, nurturing and caring to others.  And I absolutely despise that part of myself.

I have spent years trying to train myself to be selfish, to pursue my own dreams and my own happiness, but the female part of me always trips me up.  This is the part of me which worries about everybody else and wants to make sure that everybody around me is happy.  The part of me which is too nice and says yes to too many things.  And when I get angry later about agreeing too much, the part which prevents me from speaking harsh words.  Because, unfortunately, I have the ability to empathize with how the other person would feel.

I was hoping that it was possible to use willpower to change myself.  To become just a little more indifferent, a little more ruthless, better at taking what I want.  But I am beginning to think that we are trapped by our biological programming, to a far greater degree than we believe we are. 

So in spite of myself, I am a woman.  I lose myself in relationships with other people until my identity blurs and I’m no longer sure of who I am.  I suppose this should be a comfort to conservatives everywhere–I have been broken down and forced to submit to the qualities of my own gender.